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Situation Update correct as of 16:00 26th February 2020 from Visit Britain re Coronavirus

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  • As of 09:00 26 February, a total of 7,132 people have been tested in the UK, 7,119 have been confirmed negative. Four further patients have tested positive bringing the total to 13. The virus was passed on in the Diamond Princess cruise ship and the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres.
  • Globally as of 26 February at 10.00am there are 81,050 cases of which 78,064 are in China, 1,146 are in the Republic of Korea and 322 are in Italy. The fatalities to date are 2,768 (of which the following are outside China: Hong Kong SAR (2), Iran (15), Cases on Diamond Princess Cruise ship (4), Italy (10), Japan (1), Taiwan (1), France (1), Philippines (1) Republic of Korea (11)).
  • British Airways is continuing to operate to and from Italy and they are continuing to monitor the situation closely. They have introduced flexible rebooking options for customers booked to travel to/from to travel between London and the Northern Italian destinations including, Milan (Linate and Malpensa), Turin, Bologna, Venice, Bergamo and Verona up to 2 March 2020. Customers can rebook to a later travel date up to 31 March 2020.
  • easyJet and Ryanair flights are still operating as normal.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for outbound travel

  • The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is still advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China
  • The FCO is also advising against all but essential travel to:
    • the cities of Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea
    • ten small towns in the Lombardy region and one in the Veneto region of Italy
  • The FCO is not advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of coronavirus risks.

 

Other travel measures, advice and updates:

  • The World Health Organisation and UNWTO have issued a joint statement on tourism and COVID-19 calling for coordination. The key take outs are:
    • Tourism’s response needs to be measured and consistent, proportionate to the public health threat and based on local risk assessment, involving every part of the tourism value chain – public bodies, private companies and tourists, in line with WHO’s overall guidance and recommendations.
    • UNWTO and WHO stand ready to work closely with all those communities and countries affected by the current health emergency, to build for a better and more resilient future. Travel restrictions going beyond these may cause unnecessary interference with international traffic, including negative repercussions on the tourism sector.

ITB updates

  • On 26 February the organisers of ITB Berlin announced that on the advice of German public health authorities all exhibitors at ITB Berlin will be required to fill out a declaration form. The declaration form is a condition for access to the exhibition grounds and serves to identify persons belonging to a COVID 19 risk group.
  • They have also said “This is a precautionary measure in order to protect those participating in ITB Berlin and the public in general. The Federal Ministry of Health and the Robert Koch Institute have assessed that the health risk in Germany remains low.

Practical advice and guidance

  • The World Health Organisation has issued advice to the publicIf you are not in an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or if you have not travelled from one of those areas or have not been in close contact with someone who has and is feeling unwell, your chances of getting it are currently low.’

In the meantime you can visit our website where we continue to share advice for businesses and links to key updates and information.

Please also see an interesting article from Conference and Incentive Travel about the Hong Kong Government providing a subsidy of US$130 million to the exhibition and convention market to reinvigorate the industry after Covid-19 event cancellations.